Tag Archives: survivor 19

Touch your gloves and come out of your corner ready to fight!

It’s round ten of this 15 round heavyweight bout and it’s every man against Russell. Is he up to the challenge or will there be a knoutout this week. It seems as if Russell has been earmarked for eviction, can he round up enough help to stay in the fight?

Up next your favorite bag of wind and his assistant:


The Immunity Blog With Coach and Debbie


  Debbie  |   As the Game Turns…

November 9, 2009

The tribal merge is always an exciting time on the show and along with the merge a new game is born. The initial reaction of those still standing is excitement, joy and, of course, the long waited gorging of food. However, once the “newness” wears off reality hits, the game continues and it is time for new alliances to be formed. That is what happened the other night. The episode left my head spinning due to everything that occurred in the merge. Russell summed it up best by stating, “All hell broke loose.”

The new AIGA tribe keeps referring to Galu’s control of the game because they have the numbers. Did anyone watch Tocantins? Timbira was up by two people and they took us all out one by one! Believe me it can happen.

I was more than thrilled to see the girls finally getting involved in strategizing. Laura is really strong, but needs to watch what she says and conceal her dislike for Shambo. Others watched and listened to her outburst with Shambo. Erik stated, “We all know Shambo is crazy. If you fight with crazy, you are crazy.” The tribe appeared to be in shock that Laura would engage in an argument with Shambo concerning the canteen. Heck, have you taken note of what you are eating and drinking? Who cares whose canteen you drink from? I do believe if Laura did not win the challenge, the initial plan would have been followed and she would have been eliminated. Be careful, Laura, you are strong and doing well. Do not let your frustrations get the best of you.

Russell loves the merge because he felt he once again was in control. I cringed when watching Monica feed him grapes. Russell actually called himself “The King”. Monica better be cautious. She might be the next Ann Boylen and have her head chopped if she trusts this King! As much as I love to “hate” Russell, I have to admit, the guy is growing on me. I still am furious that he lied about his involvement in Katrina, but Russell never lets up. He definitely knows how to play the game; he constantly has his brain wrapped around his next move.

I thought bartenders attend listening 101 classes. Erik lacks the listening skills so he must have failed or missed that class. Every bartender I know loves to listen and take care of their patrons. It seemed that AIGA had not made their final decisions regarding their vote until Erik started his verbal rampage. He cut down Foa Foa and even went after my beloved Jaison (Coach, I will admit you were right about his performance last week, however, I still think you are going see it my way in the end.)

I do not think it was a bad move for Russell to play the idol. He had already exposed the prized jewel to everyone and he made himself a target anyway. The previews were attention-grabbing. It looks like Russell will be squirming next week. It appears that he better win the immunity or it may be his last opportunity. Dave is emerging as one of my strong favorites. I loved his comment stating that his sport was “making love” and when Jeff asked if he had practiced and he stated, “Not enough.” Was he really raised by a preacher? He sure makes me laugh; therefore, I hope to see him continue. Time will tell!



Coach  |   My Advice To All

November 9, 2009

The Dragon Slayer would like to introduce the theory of the famous Prisoner of War Chinese Water Torture. The incessant drip of water, sporadically that starts as a small nuisance but becomes a mind bender and killer. Drip drip drip.

Thus the finest comparison I can give to relate to the incessant bickering around camp. Magnified by the conditions of rain, cold, hunger and depravation of sleep. Drip, drip, drip. It will drive you to insanity, paranoia and delirium.

And then the merge comes. Like a prisoner coming out of his/her cell for a temporary stay in the torture of arguing. But my little dragons, it’s only temporary. Believe me after the feast is digested, the complaining and bickering and backstabbing will return with a vengeance twice as forceful as before. Just you wait. Drip drip drip.

Dragon Slayer advice for the day. “Use the wise words of your predecessor to gain success in battle.” In order to assist you all I have compiled a list for many of you to use in the upcoming weeks…that is if you are listening.

Erik, I learned the hard way…pride comes before the fall. Be careful thinking the game is in hand. You are all on day 19! And never, and I say never take walks by yourself on game (Tribal) day.

Gollum (Russell H). Your little man’s syndrome is catching up to you. Showing one person the idol? Brilliant. Showing half a dozen people? Foolish. Dead men tell no tales. And playing the idol? INCONGRUOUS, PREPOSTEROUS, VAPID, VAUCOUS, INCENSATE. Go ahead and look those words up because I doubt you can figure them out.

Shambo. Tsk tsk. Such a good person you are at the core. Naïve but good. But as Nietzsche once said “The problem with studying monsters is that in doing so you may become one.” Don’t get in bed with the wrong guy! Napoleon is dynamite.

Danger Dave: Keep the wit coming. You remind me of my man Tyson with the quick sly wit and boyish smile. You are becoming one of my favorites! Keep it up.

Laura you sexy grandma you: That was a close one. Better keep winning immunity.

Jaison: A young dragon slayer in training once said (i.e. Erik) “Jaison is pretty much worthless” Yep that pretty much sums it up. You may have won the battle tonight but you have not won the war.

Mick: Could you please do something? Strategy? Challenge? Witty comments?

Brett: Keep it up. Your boyish charm and smile continues to win hearts and minds and keep you under he radar.

John Boy: I like the way you handled yourself pre tribal in strategizing with the girls. Smart. Remember a woman’s intuition. And winning first immunity for the guys. Are you willing to walk the way of the noble warrior and join my alliance? I hope so because I am losing numbers!

Erik the Viking, your new name. You spoke truth in tribal, every time. You did not care about the repercussions. You played with heart. Your head held high. You swam up stream when everyone else went with the flow. Your eloquence continued to flow as the stream even as your neck was on the chopping block. And even in defeat your head was held high and you gave it your all. Oh yeah, one more thing… use your idol. Wait! Too late.

You have made it to the sixth layer of Dragon Slayer heaven. Well done my son.


A view from a window!

‘Survivor: Samoa’ recap: Cannibals on the loose!

Instead of devouring their common enemy, the members of Galu begin eating their own

By Dalton Ross | Nov 06, 2009
Thats Daltons view. From my window all I see is a parking lot. A bunch of cast-a-way butts sitting around wondering what to do with no leader to guide them. Russell could lead them down the road to destruction but he is short! Short in numbers that is. Bimbo is totally lost, where the hell did her common sense go let alone and brain function. I guess once you leave the Marines there is no one to guide you.
Dave Balldhead, combover some of that mullet and protect your brain Mr Genius. Start using the old noggin and work some Survivor bullshit on the girls and getsome votes backing your ideas.
Da’ Boys could be a big  factor going down the road, if they don’t get spazy! 
Ahhhh, the girls, Hoochie and Sleazy, just go down to the beach and work on the tans, you’ll get voted out soon enough.
Jaison, Jaison, Jaison and Mick, get Foa Foa rounded up, get Bimbo to allign with y’all and start picking offthe Purple People Eaters while they are “Dazed and Confused”.
It’s a game people, lets “Play” some games. Lets backstab, lets lie and occaisonally outplay the other bozo’s that are still in the game. I believe Kelly has a chance to make F4 if she stays out of harms way. Russell, John and maybe Sleazy to the F4. We shall see what waits on the shores of Samoa and Eric waits for a Ponderosamate.
Natalie could be a wildcard and her alliance with somone could be big.

The Devils curse, have Russell’s lies doomed the Foa Foa?

The rhythmic beat of the drums could be heard in during mass! It was because of this that in 2009, the Samoan Gods decided that any tribe that was not Catholic would not be allowed to practice within on the island. Foa Foa beach, now deserted was the location where the early Voudoun held their rituals. The Voodoo religion is based on one main supreme deity and several demi-gods called Loas. The Loas are much to Voodoo as the Saints are to Catholicism, each one serving a specific purpose. In the language of the Dahomey tribes, the word Voodoo means Gods or Spirits. The Dahomians believed that these spirits had the ability to enter the worshippers. This was believed to be a valuable experience, warding off illness and misfortune. It was in the Foa Foa camp where the  Voodoo Gods became irate with the Mandevil called Russell with the Houdini magic. 

It was not uncommon for crosses of death, tiny coffins, and strange concoctions of Samoan smoothies or hidden immunity idol dolls to be found within the tribal camps. At dawn on the doorsteps and beaches of cast-a-ways warnings could be found.  Sometimes there would be just a black candle or a black crepe wreath. Superstitious tribe members of the Galu tribe would constantly seek protection from such curses. Much of the Voodoo practitioners’ spells that were sought after were for that of protection or uncrossing, removing hexes. The Galu being truthful, found another Hidden Immunity Idol dol which could hold off curses. One of the most common practices to protect one from evil curses was to scrub the feet of the Tribal Chieffront on the stoop of the hut with palm leaves. Many Samoans made Gris-Gris bags (good luck charms), and would wear them near the body or place them in the home. Rumor has it that doctors at Survivor hospital told of patients being brought in wearing their Gris-Gris bags and refusing to part with them. These bags were usually made up of a variety of herbs or even animal parts. One of the most powerful animals to use in Voodoo was the cat, particularly, a black cat.

Hmmmmmmm, maybe the curse is working!!!!!

In Memory of the fallen Foa Foa members!

Lets hear from the fallen ones as they left!

OK,Ok …. so call me lazy, but the words are not in my mind tonight. I put together videos of the day after for each of the evicted Foa Foa gang so you could see them in a new light, or close your eyes and see them in a new dark!!  For your approval, the ex-Foa Foa!!!


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Click It
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‘Survivor Talk': Liz calls Russell a “male chauvinist pig”


Some guys have all the luck, some guys do nothing but complain ….

The new Chief!!

See the neckware she has!


Fishing for Immunity

 Surprisingly, in recovering from Russell Swan’s evacuation, which prevented a planned double-boot, Survivor went for a full two extra challenges here. Bringing us this challenge, “Canoe Dueling.” Oh well, more for Galu to win, we guess.
   The challenge itself appears to involve racing out to canoes, doing some “fishing” (presumably for puzzle pieces), then bringing it all back to shore and doing puzzles.

I think it goes over there!


So who wins? Galu wins it, since Liz is the final pre-jury boot. As further proof, photographer Monty Brinton made the trip back to camp with Foa Foa after the challenge, an honor he reserves for the losing tribe. So Galu wins the (final tribal?) immunity challenge

This episode should be taking care of the final pre-merge boot, before the merge at 12, and was necessitated by Russell Swan’s fainting and removal in the (unfinished) Ep6 RC.

    Who’s most at risk? Well, Shambo was the slam-dunk Galu boot up until Ep6, when an alliance grew up around her, much to her own dismay. That would put Monica on the low end of the vote totals, if Galu returns to tribal council.

   Liz was the decoy boot in Ep5, although it was clear from the hilariously dated clips used to build that storyline (some of which were from as far back as Ep2, when Russell didn’t have his swimsuit, and was nearly clean-shaven) that either Russell has been nursing this grudge for a while, or he initially thought of it, but had bigger fish to fry, and has all but forgotten it. Either that, or he’s just getting around to planting his “Russell seed” for the Liz boot. Probst seems to think so in his EW blog, anyway. Still, as of late Ep6, Liz and Natalie were both resigned to one of them being booted (and since we think Natalie may be the winner*, we’re guessing she isn’t booted).
    Then there’s Jaison, who seemed perfectly safe in Ep5, after coming close to quitting in Ep4, which got Russell’s ire up. After admitting in the Ep5 tribal council that he trained for the U.S. water polo team, he now may be a traditional circa-merge boot target, for being too strong. Still, as of the Ep5 story, he’s a less obvious target than Liz. Prior to Ep5, missyae said he’s the last person to get booted, pre-merge. But following Ep5, the missyae line is that Liz gets the boot, instead.

   Update: Never mind, Liz appears to be correct.

* Natalie got an apparently inaccurately positive edit in Ep5’s Gross Food challenge, since her attempt at downing a smoothie was edited out completely (but present in the press photos, oops), and Ashley hinted that others had trouble with the smoothies in her interviews. Update: Jaison confirms this in the “Foa Foa’s Bad Break” video on the CBS site: “Last time it was the food challenge where we had to chug the disgusting stuff, and we all know Natalie and Ashley aren’t gonna be able to do that. So, you know, we’re out on that.”
    Natalie also got a solo headshot as Probst said “turn this game around” at the Ep5 tribal council, and got to allay Mick’s fears of a post-merge decimation of Foa Foa in Ep6. Not to mention that Probst keeps mentioning her, for no apparent reason, in his EW blog.

The Immunity Blog With Coach and Debbie



Coach  |   Mother Nature Can Kick Your Ass!

October 26, 2009

What a beautiful, powerful, deep and dramatic episode. I am not just saying this because I am a former contestant but because the producers did an incredible job on this one. Did you see the cinematography? The drama? Life and death! Powerful and moving. And how about the music!!! The musicians who wrote the music for this episode? Beautiful, powerful, deep and dramatic.

Ah, the great equalizer: Mother Nature. The Creator of the Universe unleashes a visceral viscosity of venom. Battling the elements will turn some people into men (gotta give credit to Mr. Umpaloompa for taking a bath in jeans) and breaks others (no one is buying the cool “it” factor anymore Jaison). You will see what you are made of when you live and breathe and eat and sleep in the wild. Indeed you will see down to your very core how tough you really are. But then, in a blink of an eye the wilderness can turn around and display such beauty, magnaniminity, passion and power.

And in the midst of it all: young samurai in the making Brett is sitting there with a smile on his face and a rational word on his lips. He looks clean and comfortable and well rested during a rainstorm. Incredible. And Erik starting to pray and talk like a young dragonslayer. Tribal speech is starting to sound like the grandmaster slayer himself. I love it. Two young warriors in the making.

The clouds, the storm, the waves. All dark indications and foreshadowing that all is not well with Russell S. He is hurt and he is hurt bad. A scary scene indeed to watch a strong man’s body give out in the midst of battle. This goes to show you just how brutal this game can be. Galu has won the majority of the rewards. They have been well fed. Russell, their fearless leader looked good all morning around camp. And yet in the blink of an eye everything changes.

Yes I was a little harsh on you last week Russell, my warrior to be, but you have earned redemption and have left the game a true winner. You played and fought and pushed until your body could no further go on. You earned my respect this night for sure. Out of the seven layers of Viking heaven, I think you will reach the sixth layer. Well done. FYI, Evil Russell (aka Gollum), no matter where he ends up will not even make it to the first layer.

On to pre tribal debates: the arguments were repetitiveve and naïve. John, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (had to use the pun) to figure out that Shambo IS dangerous to your tribe. She has been to the other camp twice, and is much more personable than Monica. And girls… voting out someone who starts fire every day like Shambo? Your only excuse is that she wrote your name down last week? Hello??? Has anyone seen my season? That’s the worst reason to vote someone out.

And in the end…it was all for naught. Double tribal. 13 people sitting there arguing about what is next to come and then Jeff gives them a free pass. Good night everybody. Sleep tight. Don’t let the rain freeze you or the rain soak you. Wait isn’t it raining non stop? Should anyone be complaining about lack of water. Hello? Open your mouths, use a leaf, leave your water bottles in the open. But alas…I digress.

So what have we learned from this episode? Mother Nature can kick your ass! But hopefully there is something more profound lurking around your thoughts. The princess put it best last week when she said “it was during the toughest moments on my season that I remember the clearest and those which made me a forged sword of iron character” or something like that.

It is indeed in the toughest of times that we not only reveal our mettle, but forge it as well. Every man and woman has a destiny to fulfill a dream to dream and a road to travel. Trials and tribulations come about for everyone. That’s life, and if we develop perseverance and character along the way we can and will come to a fork in the road where there can be no turning back. And when the road less traveled is taken, with the right amount of introspection: it can and will lead to hope, understanding, wisdom, compassion, depth/breadth of character, passion, balance and of course love.

And this, my friends, is what life is all about.



Debbie  |   Here’s to Hoping Jaison Blindsides Russell

October 26, 2009

Tonight was full of firsts- the first time a challenge was stopped and not completed and the first time in 19 seasons when Jeff was truly scared with the physical condition and safety of a cast member.

Russell’s tears said it all. He broke my heart. When you are in the game, the last thing you want is to be pulled from the game for medical reasons. When Joe was medically removed in our season, we had just merged. It makes everything you are going through so real and you realize how fragile your body is and your existence in the game can change in a moment.

Russell S. was my one of my favorites; therefore, I was sad to see him go. He is a proud man, a hard worker and always tried to lead by example. Watching a true leader crumble was painful. Knowing the Survivor family and medical team, I feel confident they made the right decision and hopefully, Russell will quickly recover.

Rain and misery was the focus for tonight’s episode. Solid rain and only 15 days into the game will make anyone contemplate quitting. The end is not in sight and as Eric stated, “Your biggest fear is it is not going to quit raining.” Mick also stated that he was somewhat jealous of Ashley having her torch extinguished. These thoughts are prevalent when you are in pure misery. Once again, I hate to do it, but I have to give “little Russell” credit for his strong mental focus. He is not letting the elements detour his game plan. Plus, his physical ability seems to improve weekly. I am beginning to get nervous because I think he has the possibility of winning this game. I am hopeful that Jaison will blindside him since he knows Russell has an idol. It would be a great twist to this game.

I know from experience when it is cold and rainy, your desire is to do nothing, but sit and try to find comfort somewhere. Memories surfaced of sitting in soaking wet clothes. It was by far the most miserable I have ever been in my life. Luckily, we did not endure the constant rains as this group of Survivors has endured.

There is not as much to comment on this week because there was limited movement around the camps. Come on Jaison, give us some excitement and blindside Russell. Galu, who is your next leader? They have some big shoes to fill. Hopefully, Samoa will get some reprieve from the rain and everyone will start playing the strategic game again.


Lets make plans to paint the town red!

Protection for Shambo!  An alliance with the Devil! What the hell is going on in the Jungle. It’s looks like no merge before the reward challenge which Foa Foa must win so that Russell can visit the Galu camp. Wonder what he’ll call this alliance? Maybe it’ll be the “Super Secret G-Whiz Alliance”! Even though it might not last if Foa Foa wins Immunity and Galu votes out Laura.  With the numbers getting closer to 10 which is when the merge should happen things are getting dicey! The jury usually has 7 members if I remember correctly. Sometimes its a final 2, sometimes it’s a final 3.

The liklihood of a Foa Foa member winning this game depends greatly on the next 2 immunity challenges, otherwise their numbers when a merge happens puts them at a big disadvantage.

I see the guys at Galu making an all boy alliance and keeping Shambo around to help with Challenges. She can still be an asset even after the merge and easy to vote out. Shambo will need the Foa Foa’s to allign with to help her have votes against the Galu men. She is sitting in a good spot if things fall her way!!  The Devil will have trouble at the merge if the Galu men see his evil ways. Everyone else is going to have to pray for help. The girls from both tribes look to have the longest odds because they are in the minority on both tribes and don’t seem to have any alliances to speak of.

Game play is getting very important. We now must watch carefully to see what becomes of the tribes from here on out!

Galu is now at 8 members:

Laura, Monica, Kelly & Shannon     ……   Brett, Dave, Erik & John

Foa Foa now @ 5

Elizabeth & Natalie    ……    Russell, Mick & Jaison

It’s a close balance of men to women now, 7 men, 6 women!  The men on Galu however are ready to make Shambo the leader and make her a Puppet Dictator. It looks likely no matter who wins immunity that 1 of the women will be voted out next. As of last week, Monica was close to being voted out on Galu. Foa Foa on the other hand could go either way depending on Russells ability to sway the vote.

A look at one of/ or the combo Challenge comingup this week. Seems to be some kind of memory puzzle.

challenge pic


CBS Press Release 10/26/2009


 Now that both idols have been found, you’d think they’d stop providing clues and sending contestants to the opposing camp. But apparently you’d be wrong. As is TV Guide, which claims Russell visits Galu.
Now that both idols have been found, you’d think they’d stop providing clues and sending contestants to the opposing camp. But apparently you’d be wrong.
    It appears, from multiple angles, that Laura visits Foa Foa in the scene below, from the post-Ep6 preview. To our eyes, the beach shots look like Foa Foa. chaoswva at RFF pulled some images from Foa Foa beach which look like a pretty good match for the rocks and trees in the Russell-Laura shots. Also, from the RC page shots, it looks like Laura departs Galu after that challenge, so it seems like case solved.
    Except of course that TV Guide somehow has the exact opposite story in their synopsis: “Evil Russell from Foa Foa visits Galu and strikes up an alliance with one tribe member.” Our advice? Ignore TV Guide.

    In the previews, Russell’s already making a final two deal with Laura (apparently he was running short on blondes).

Well if you can’t beleive what you read in a comic book, what can you beleive?

Stratagy will now come into play, it’s time to warm up your Lying machines and lets party! He’s gone but Russell was making some bad moves before he left!

Shambo needs some friends, I think she is losing it!


The Hulk is simply in the best shape going into this weeks superhero fight. The X-Men are questionable and in need of an infusion of power. Superman was dropped by some kryptonite. Batman is hiding in his tree trunk bat cave. Catwoman and her kittens are busy purring and tucking their tails. Shambowomen is looking to team up with the X-men and fight to the death. The coming collision of superpowers is ready to be a big explosion of energy. The last person standing will be determined and the game will come to an end!   BOOM

Jeff Probst blogs ‘Survivor: Samoa': episode #6



Rain is a double-edged sword on Survivor. It gives and it takes. We love the layer of drama it adds when you see the contestants shivering, their fingers wrinkled like prunes, as they struggle to make fire. But rain can also bring with it severe, life-threatening problems as it did this week when Russell collapsed due to dehydration.

I’m going to focus this blog on sharing with you everything you didn’t see that happened when Russell went down.  

During the early stage of the challenge when they were pushing the sphere, I was completely unaware that Russell was struggling. I noticed he was tired but that is not unusual during a challenge and so I thought nothing much of it.

Even when they reached the maze, I noticed it taking him a long time to get himself over to the maze, but he was blindfolded and I am watching 13 other people, so once again I wasn’t overly concerned because exhaustion is normal and in fact, the effort someone puts into a challenge is often a determining factor in whether they stay or are voted out.

Russell had always given 100% so it didn’t surprise me to see him exhausted.

It was when his head went down and stayed that it started to become clear that something wasn’t right. But because he was blindfolded and I couldn’t see his eyes, it was again very hard to determine if he was just tired or in some kind of real trouble.

When I watch the episode edited with the luxury of close ups, it seems much more obvious that Russell was not doing well and I wish I had gotten there sooner. I can only tell you that from my vantage point, in the midst of everything going on – 10 people running a challenge, 4 others on the sit out bench and a challenge to oversee, he was only one of the things I was keeping an eye on.

As a result, I had no idea that he actually had already passed out for the first time while he was standing at the maze, but that is exactly what our doctors think happened. They think he had already passed out once before I even got to him.

When a Survivor appears to be in trouble, our first rule is to give them the chance to save themselves or see if one of their tribemates can help them before we make any decision about sending in medical, safety, or our water rescue team. We do this because it is their game, their adventure and whenever possible we want them to make the decisions about their fate.

Let me be clear, we are watching them the entire time, they are never out of our sight, and our medical, safety and rescue teams are always on alert – but we would rather give the contestants every chance to handle it themselves before we move in to take over.

But in this case, it happened so fast that I didn’t even consider waiting. I just instinctively called for medical to come in and get to work. Because our medical team is so well run they were prepared for someone to pass out or get injured even before the challenge began. That’s what they do, they prep before the challenge about what could possibly go wrong so they are ready for it. They knew dehydration could be a factor and so when Russell went down they had a plan in place and were helping Russell within seconds of me calling them in.

As you saw, Russell said he was okay… and then immediately passed out again.

Once medical informed me that Russell was going to require some major time-consuming attention I called off the challenge because it seemed the only decision that made sense. There was no way we were going to continue — it was clear Russell was going to require too much time and because both tribes were going to tribal council either way, it didn’t seem to matter enough to consider an alternative. So we sent the tribes back to their camp and told them to await word.

In a moment like that you make a decision. Sometimes it’s the right one, sometimes it’s the wrong one, but you have to make a call. It’s one of the things that I most enjoy about doing a show like Survivor. It is for all intents and purposes, a live show. It would be great to go back and script out all my reactions and comments like a movie, but you can’t do that. All you can do is react and hope your decision makes sense. I’m sure many people will feel canceling the challenge was “lame” or “silly” but for me it was the only call to make as Russell was the priority and that’s that.

At this point our challenge crew led by our director and senior producer Dave Dryden became reality shooters and producers. Dryden quickly re-positioned them so they could cover the unfolding drama. Their ability to quickly reconnoiter is why we have such great coverage of everything that went down.

For the next 45 minutes we monitored Russell’s vital signs. We gave him water from his canteen. We gave him oxygen. We propped him up and gave him time to try to relax and get calm.

During that time Russell and I talked about a lot of things. He was very worried that he would be pulled from the game. He was worried how he would be portrayed and what his family would think. He did not want to be seen as a quitter.

That’s why I tried to recap everything that had happened up to Russell up to this point – how dominant he had been in the game, his leadership, his physical capability. I was trying to make the point that no matter what happens, he would never been seen as someone who gave less than 100%.

I explained to him that he had already passed out two times, but his recollection at that point was so foggy he didn’t understand. He thought he was fine and was demanding to be put back into the challenge. In fact, I don’t think he even realized that everybody else had already been sent back to camp and the challenge called off.

Even with all of this going on, our doctors assured him that if his vitals came back strong they would allow him to stay in the game.

Nobody wanted Russell to go home.

When Russell passed out for the third time, I got very worried. Then his heart rate dropped 30 beats in less than a second. I was watching the heart rate monitor and when I saw it move from 97 to 68, I was honestly concerned that we were losing him. Forever.

Even writing this brings back the same emotion.

Our doctors were not exaggerating or play acting when they started pounding on Russell’s chest and repeating his name, asking him “Russell, are you with us?” It seemed to go on forever, his eyes not moving, not responding to anything.

I have never been more proud of our medical team than I was in that moment. Heroic. Incredibly calm. Well practiced. They knew exactly what they needed to do and they didn’t waste a moment.

Telling Russell he was being pulled from the game was difficult. I understood that he didn’t want to quit. He was in a great position in the game and there was such a fire in his belly. Many people have been pulled from the game that didn’t want to go, for some reason this one really got to me.

What you didn’t see was that after Russell pulled off his oxygen mask in frustration, he experienced a lot of different emotions, all of them completely understandable. He was extremely frustrated at me, at medical, and at production in general for pulling him from the game. He yelled. Then, he got quiet. Then, he cried. Finally, he prayed. It was extremely emotional and simultaneously beautiful. He was in a very vulnerable state and to be a witness as he processed the situation and made peace with it was an honor.

I’m guessing that Russell had no idea how bad it was until he saw the episode last night. I think he will be surprised at how serious it was and will realize that he is not a quitter and there was no other decision to be made other than to pull him from the game.

After Russell was removed we then had to make a decision whether to continue with our double tribal council or cancel it.

SIDE LINE: For the record, I have always hated the “win or lose, you must vote someone out” twist, but it’s existence comes from necessity. Let me explain: We would prefer to start the show with only 16 contestants. It’s much easier for the audience to get to know 16 people. But it gives us no wiggle room if someone quits or has to leave the game due to medical emergency.

If we start with 18, that gives us a bit of breathing room in terms of numbers but also gives us an uneven number of men and women on each tribe.

If we start with 20, as we did this year, it gives us plenty of wiggle room for quits or medical evacuation, but because we have 4 extra people we have to get rid of them at some point. Thus the “win or lose, you’re voting somebody out” scenario. I am happy to say that we have since figured out a better way to do double eliminations. So should we ever need to vote out two people in one episode it will not be a “win or lose both tribes going to tribal council” scenario.

So… what to do? We gathered the creative team and the decision was made that due to the unprecedented canceling of the challenge, the medical drama, and incredibly difficult conditions the contestants had endured the past several days,  the best move was to make a gesture of good will and spare them from voting anybody out.

Was it was the right move? Depends on your point of view. It was certainly not a “clear-cut this is the only decision to be made” situation. We considered everything and we made what we believed to be the right call. You may disagree. In fact, I’m pretty sure many of you reading this right now are saying, “Hell yes I disagree. You should have voted people out. That’s what Survivor does!” Well, not this time. Sorry.

One thing was very clear, the canceling of the vote did seem to lift their spirits. You could see them begin to re-energize once they heard the news. You saw the rivalry between the two tribes reignite. Why is this important? Because at the end of the day if the Survivors lose their motivation to continue and it turns into a “group” funk, then the show is in serious trouble.

It’s probably hard to appreciate how difficult this season has been, so all I can do is repeat what I’ve said many times – this is a very tough season added to an already very tough game. Remember, we are not giving them food, we are not giving them water. We don’t offer them dry clothes or help them start their fire. We were worried about their welfare and did not want anybody else to be evacuated and certainly didn’t want anyone to decide to quit.

Okay – that’s it from my end. I hope you’re still enjoying the season. One thing that has always been true about Survivor fans, you are loyal. We appreciate it.

Until next week.




The NFL Survivors injury report for day 15!

These people are dropping like flies.

Mick explains Russell’s demise.

Russell’s mind set before the challenge!

Russell on the beach talking to Dave.

Shambo’s take on Russell!

Weather related maladys!

We’ve had two majors that have ended players seasons. We now have 13 on IR but scheduled to play and 1 with no injuries and ready to QB his team. They’re battered and bruised but must suck it up and compete. Weather conditions are predicted to be wet and cold. Lots of defensive ability will be necessary to hold back the offenses and keep the scoring low. The special teams game will be very important to return all the kicks. A fumble at this point could be disasterous. First downs will be a tough commodity to collect. Even the gadget plays are now gonna be necessary to keep your opponent off balance. The Cheerleaders will be trying to root for their team to score. The referee is ready to restart play and the game is back on!!!

Dalton Ross article. (3 oage article and video interview)

In the sky lord, in the sky …….

Survivor has a unique ability to get some great video and here is one. From an eagles eye view with the helicopter they monitor a lot of area. Great camera on that bird!!!

The only thing coming from the sky was more & more & more rain. last time I saw that much rain was during Hurricane Ike. Lost power so it felt like I was in the jungle. had to dig out the candles and flashlights.

As for our cast-a-ways, quit bitching and do something to stay warm. Work on more palms for your roof, cover it up big time. Shambo for all your bitching seems to have a nice little hideout she built, be “SOCIALABLE” and ask her for help. Being curtious works both ways. That rain looks like it will last forever, and they have 24 days to go!!!  Sit, shiver and bitch is all they do. Go look for that chicken, he probaly is sitting somewhere bitching about the rain and should be easy to catch. Evil Russell just keeps plugging along like nothing is bothering him. Everyone else keeps complaing, BUT doing nothing. Mommy can I go out and play, are you crazy kid it’s raining. Thats not an option for these weinies, they have to go out to play so why not go out and work on improving there habitat. Look for somewhere that the rain won’t ge you, find a very bushy tree and  build a temorary hut.

Like I said, ER is just plugging along, he went out fishing and also brought back a bunch of bananas. he is feeding his tribe better than 9 people in the other tribe.  Over at Galu, Russell was keeping the fire going, another thing they could be doing is making a cover over the fire to keep some of the rain out of it. Hard to believe the two Russell’s are the only ones even attempting to be useful.  Keeping busy and staying warm ER is now filling the canteens with rain water, man is this guy ever going to slow down?

Amazing sunrise and rainbow before the storms continue the next morning.

Time to move and get to the challenge area for our cast-a-ways. The game today, roll a giant ball with one person strapped inside down a path and then do a tilt-a-maze. Oh, did I mention evetone except the person rolling around in the ball is blindfolded. Jeff gets them started “GO” and away they push. I found it hard to beleive that no one one was rolled over by those big wooden balls, I did see some smashing going on. Foa Foa was the first to the maze and was starting to do theirs when Galu pulled up the the finish spot. At this point Russell Swan was staggering to get to the maze, he stumbled over to Foa Foa’s ball before they got him over to the maze. The man was out on his feet!!!   It seems they edited out the fall in the previews that looked bad and showed a 2nd one where he just slowy dropped to the ground after laying his head on the maze. It really was touch and go, he was really out of it, his mind wanted to keep playing and his body wouldn’t co-operate. He was in bad shape and when his dropped 30 points it was really scary. His eyes were just staring off and not moving. It definately was time to pull him out!!  at this point Jeff called off the challenge with no winner even though Foa Foa had a clear advantage. Upon announcing there was no winner, he also said both teams would be going to the Tribal Council and evicting one person each. So a double eviction was in the books so they can get down to merge numbers.

After both teams got back to their camps the Foa Foa Russell was talking to try to get Liz voted out. The rest of the tribe was grumbling but not making a clear desision who they wanted out. meanwhile, over at the Galu, the girls are aiming to take out Shambo. However, the boys are talking about keeping her because of her abilities and they don’t believe she poses a threat. it was cool when she was asking them (boys) to keep her that they where getting her to vote for Monica without saying so!!

When they got to TC, Jeff was asking them about the conditions and what kind of problems they were having. ER said he thoughtm Foa Foa was in great shape and start a comeback over Galu. Eric hen chimed in that Galu was dominating. The trash started and the guys were ready to start the next challenge, lets get ready to jumble!!!!!!

After some discussion and before the fight in the jungle Jeff said it’s now timie to get to the eviction voting. He told them because of the unforseen ending and since there was no winner there would be no evictions. Some sighs and some disappointments but that was it for the night!

After seeing the previews, next week looks good. It seems Russell H. was visiting Galu and making an alliance. This also means that Foa Foa might have won a Reward Challenge and sent ER to Galu for an observation (snd HII look).

Same time next week, MORE SURVIVOR!!